WASHINGTON – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent Iran and any terrorist or militia groups aligned with Iran from being able to acquire lethal drones.
As the United States government intensifies efforts to stop Tehran’s flourishing lethal unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program, the Stop Iranian Drones Act of 2021 seeks to amend the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to include any action that seeks to advance Iran’s UAV program, as defined by the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, as sanctionable under U.S. law. Today’s Senate introduction follows its recent approval by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“We must do more to halt Iran’s regional terrorism,” said Ranking Member Risch. “As we saw with recent Iranian-sponsored drone attacks on American troops and the Iraqi Prime Minister, as well as the constant attacks on Saudi Arabia, Iran’s armed drone capability presents a growing threat to the Middle East. This legislation rightly imposes costs on the Iranian drone program and its supporters.”
“Iran’s increasing reliance on unmanned aerial vehicles to attack U.S. personnel and assets across the Middle East, as well as shipping vessels, commercial facilities and regional partners is a serious and growing menace to regional stability. Furthermore, Iran’s reckless export of this kind of technology to proxies and terrorist actors across the region represents a significant threat to human lives,” said Chairman Menendez. “We must do more to hold Iran accountable for its destabilizing behavior as we continue to confront the threat of its nuclear program. I’m pleased to join our colleagues in the House of Representatives in this effort to add UAVs to existing laws that counter conventional threats from Iran, bringing it in line with the UN Register of Conventional Arms. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate towards a swift passage of this legislation.”
Text of the legislation can be found here.